Grandmother who had heart attack on plane was saved by 15 cardiologists on board

One grandmother experienced an incredibly fortunate brush with death when she had a heart attack mid-flight. To her surprise, there were 15 cardiologists on board who came to her aid.
In-flight medical emergencies can be particularly nerve-wracking, especially during transatlantic flights where the nearest emergency stop may be hours away, especially if you're over the middle of the ocean when it happens.

The last thing anyone wants is to hear the pilot urgently asking if there's a medical professional on board. While there might be one or two doctors or nurses, it's rare to have a team of 15 specialists, all with expertise in the specific emergency at hand.

Dorothy Fletcher found herself in a stroke of luck when she suffered a heart attack on a flight from Manchester, UK, to Florida, US. Her life was saved by the timely presence of 15 cardiologists who happened to be on their way to a conference.
Dorothy, who was 67 at the time of the incident in 2003, had been on the flight heading to her daughter's wedding in Florida.

However, the grandmother, who is from Liverpool, UK, started to feel unwell midway through the journey, telling BBC Breakfast at the time: "I realized I was having a heart attack. I had a terrible pain in my back, across my chest, and down my arm. I was sweating profusely and vomiting."

A stewardess then put a call out asking:"Is there a doctor on the plane?"

Luckily, all 15 cardiologists who were on their way to a heart conference in the States stood up to help give her lifesaving treatment until the plane could make an emergency landing.

Dorothy revealed: "I only realized when they said is there a doctor on board and all the lights above their heads began lighting up and they all came running towards me.

"I can't believe there were so many doctors - never mind cardiologists - on a plane."

She admitted that seeing so many highly qualified doctors were there with her helped calm her nerves, adding: "It was so frightening. I had never experienced a heart attack. But to see so many people helping me took the fright away."

The team of cardiologists promptly took action by administering drips and utilizing equipment from the on-board medical kit to provide emergency assistance until the plane could make an emergency landing in North Carolina.

Dorothy recounted the critical moments, revealing, "It was touch and go at times. I heard a voice saying, 'I think we're losing her,' and I wanted to assure them I wasn't dead. Another doctor then confirmed he had found a pulse."

Upon landing, she was removed from the plane and spent two days in intensive care at the Charlotte Medical Center before being transferred to a regular ward for an additional three days.

Despite the harrowing start to her journey and an unexpected hospital stay, Dorothy fortunately still made it to her daughter Christine's wedding the following week.

Expressing gratitude to the unidentified doctors on board, she said, "The doctors were wonderful. They saved my life. I wish I could thank them, but I have no idea who they were, except that they were en route to a conference in Orlando."

Christine Penman, Dorothy's 32-year-old daughter who married Gareth, added, "2003 was my best and almost my worst year. As we enter the new year, we express gratitude that my mum got through what she did. We owe so much to those cardiologists and the airline. My mum wouldn't be here today if it weren't for those doctors, but in the rush, we didn't even know any of their names—and we still don't."

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